Psychometric properties of upper extremity outcome measures validated by Rasch analysis: a systematic review

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to provide a systematic review of psychometric studies of upper extremity (UE) outcome measures validated by Rasch analysis and assess the extent to which their measurement areas cover the domains of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health model. A literature search from 1966 to 2014 was performed using PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus, PsycINFO, Ovid/MEDLINE, ERIC, and Cochrane library. Fourteen keywords indicating ‘upper extremity’, ‘psychometric properties’, and ‘outcome measures’ were used. From a total of 1039 studies, 17 UE impairment outcome measures that fulfilled the inclusion criteria were selected and reviewed. The instruments targeted adults with various neurological or orthopedic conditions (i.e. stroke, upper and lower extremity impairments, and back pain). Twelve instruments targeted the body structure/function domain and 11 instruments targeted the activity domain of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health model. Only two instruments targeted the participation domain. All outcome measures showed reasonably sound psychometric properties, including construct validity (good fit statistic), moderate to high reliability (r=0.86–0.99), and sound dimensionality (unidimensional). The reviewed psychometric properties of UE outcome measures are useful for clinicians in deciding which measures to use to assess patients’ UE impairments.

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